Detox.com’s recent study provides us with the top 10 jobs that have the highest risk of substance abuse. These include high-powered professions like entertainers, doctors, and lawyers as well as traditionally lower-paying, less powerful jobs like retail and food service workers. Professions from all over the map—like construction workers and business managers—also appear on this list. As such, it seems difficult to avoid the risk of substance abuse when you are a serious professional. So how can you circumvent this problem and stay healthy at work and at home?
One of the biggest factors that leads to job-related substance abuse is stress. Construction workers, doctors, and entertainers alike all suffer from this issue, as their jobs are all stressful for different reasons. In fact, lawyers are so stressed when they first begin practicing that 29 percent of them drink to excess during their first decade of work. Learning to manage stress, however, is the best way to avoid this potential issue. It is important to find whatever helps you de-stress—whether it is yoga, meditation, playing a sport, or simply spending time with your loved ones—and then to always make time for these activities.
In addition, many people start to abuse substances because they are highly available at their jobs. 69 percent of physicians and 10 to 15 percent of pharmacists, nurses, and other healthcare workers abuse drugs because it is so easy to get ahold of them. Furthermore, hospitality workers and entertainers often have drugs and alcohol on hand in the workplace, and others may even encourage them to overindulge. Avoiding this can be tricky, but it is important to instead remember that drinking or using drugs on the job—or even off it—leads to more accidents at work, higher insurance premiums, and more frequent turnovers.
Some individuals begin abusing drugs or alcohol because their jobs cause them to experience painful stimuli. Construction workers and miners for example are constantly in pain from the physical aspects of their jobs, and this can lead to pain medication addiction. In order to avoid this possibility, make sure you always take any medication exactly as you were prescribed to do so and to never take drugs that were not prescribed to you.
Finally, some people abuse drugs because they either make a lot of money and have disposable income or because they don’t make enough and they experience depression that they try to self-medicate away. Whatever the case, remember that any negative feelings toward your profession should be worked out in a safer way like in therapy. Also, try finding ways you can spend your money wisely, perhaps by hiring a financial consultant.
If you are already dealing with substance abuse caused by your job, don’t wait to seek professional care. Find treatment today and be honest when you reach out for help. You deserve to do the job you love and to do it as safely and effectively as possible, for yourself and for those with whom you work.